- Advertisement -POP Fit | Fitness classes at the Stroud Hotel | Stroud Times

Elderly targeted by rogue traders

MOST READ

Police are issuing a warning about rogue traders following a spate of incidents which have resulted in elderly people being scammed out of thousands of pounds.

It follows reports of men targeting vulnerable people in Painswick, Cam, Dursley and Stone offering to repair driveways or carry out work on their roofs.

A rogue trader is someone who cold calls at a resident’s door, often the elderly, and offers to do work on their home or garden which is either unnecessary or vastly over-priced.

Offenders can damage property deliberately in order to obtain money, leave work unfinished and use intimidating behaviour in order to extort money.

Last Thursday (16 February), an 88 year-old man in Stone was approached by a salesman at his home address who offered to jet-wash the roof of his property.

The elderly man agreed to the work and was subsequently charged a highly-inflated sum of £4,600.

It is believed more residents on the same street were also targeted by the conman and had also been charged thousands of pounds for having their roofs cleaned.

In a previous incident on Saturday 10 February, a 67 year-old woman from Painswick reported she had been approached by two men offering to clean her driveway.

The pair, who the victim described as ‘persistent and pushy’, began to clean her driveway even though she had not agreed to the work.

They then charged her £500, which was £125 more than the price they had originally quoted, claiming they had had to do additional work because the driveway was in a poor condition.

Elderly people in Dursley and Cam were also targeted by bogus tradespeople last week who tried to con them into having their driveways cleaned for an over-priced sum.

Despite the residents refusing their services, the men returned to the properties multiple times, becoming more forceful in their requests for business.

To reassure members of the public, the Stroud Neighbourhood Policing team is conducting extra patrols in the Dursley and Cam area.

Stroud Neighbourhood Policing Inspector Paul Cruise said: “Rogue traders are often opportunistic and unscrupulous, targeting the most vulnerable people in our communities for profit.

“They can be very convincing and may appear to be genuine tradespeople, so we would urge people to do their research before employing a person or company to do any work for you.

“Rogue traders will often demand cash up front, won’t use any paperwork, and will often create new ‘problems’ which need fixing to get more money.

“Crimes like these can have a huge impact on victims so if you know or live near to any vulnerable or elderly residents, please look out for them and contact police immediately if you think they are being targeted.”

“Investigations into these incidents are ongoing and anyone who witnesses behaviour which they believe is suspicious, is asked to call 999 straight away with as much information as you can such as descriptions of the individuals and their vehicles.”

Action Fraud advises following these steps to protect yourself against rogue tradesmen:

  • Always ask for identification before letting anyone you don’t know into your house.
  • Check credentials, including a permanent business address and landline telephone number. The mobile phone numbers given on business cards are often pay-as-you-go numbers which are virtually impossible to trace.
  • Take control by asking the questions. Ask for references from previous customers or to see examples of their work.
  • Don’t sign on the spot – shop around. Get at least three written quotes to make sure you’re not being ripped off.
  • If in any doubt, ask the person to leave or call Citizens Advice. 

You can contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or police on 101 if you feel that you have been the victim of this. You should always call 999 if you feel intimidated or threatened by an individual and they are still in the area.

For more way to protect yourself from fraud, visit our website: https://www.gloucestershire.police.uk/advice/advice-and-information/fa/fraud/

Latest News

Baillie backs smoking ban for those born after 2009

The UK government's plan to ban anyone in the UK born after 2009 from buying cigarettes is a good policy, insists Stroud MP Siobhan Baillie.
Skip to content